Archive for the ‘“The Insider”’ Category

‘The Insider’ Goes Inside HSN, But Not Too Far

October 20, 2010

Lara Spencer chatted up Wolfgang Puck at HSN's studios

Yippee, as we’ve noted before, the traditional media has finally figured out that home shopping is not still about selling can openers and cubic zirconia anymore. Jeez, even Oprah Winfrey shops on HSN! (We’ll explain later.)

CNN woke up and made it official when it did a segment on QVC’s large role in Fashion Week in Manhattan this year. And this week “The Insider” sent the vapid and extremely annoying Lara Spencer down to HSN’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla., to do a story on how celebrities are flocking to sell goods on home shopping networks.

The story was a couple of minutes, which for “The Insider” is like an investigative report, even though it stated the obvious to anyone who knows the home shopping industry. But it was a great plug for HSN, that’s for sure.

The segment showed a clip of Liza Minnelli’s disastrous appearance, and there were also interviews with celebrity chef and pot peddler Wolfgang Puck, as well as Bill Brand, HSN’s executive vice president of programming, marketing and business development.

The segment said that HSN started in 1977 on AM radio selling electronic can openers. While there was once a “stigma” to appear on HSN, now celebs are calling the TV network to get on, we’re told.

“This world had changed and it’s been focused on finding those personalities that are popular, that are interesting but also very credible and authentic and are experts in their field,” Brand said to Spencer.

Spencer noted that Puck would be on the air for 10 hours, “not a single minute of it with a teleprompter,” the day she was in Florida shooting her segment.

“Welcome to a very tasty HSN,” Puck told Spencer.

She noted that as Puck was selling his cookware, HSN producers were watching how many people were calling in and buying, and then they told Puck through his earpiece whether to keep talking or move on.

There was also a clip of Sean “Diddy” Combs from his appearance on the home shopping network to sell his fragrance.

“I made it,” Combs said. “I’m on HSN, Ma.”

His fragrance, “I Am King,” sold out in 14 minutes, product that was meant to last for a two-hour show.

Brand also talked about singer Mary J. Blige debuting her new perfume exclusively on HSN. “That was really a first for the business,” he said.

“The Insider” also showed Oprah Winfrey calling in while Blige was on the air on HSN.

“I am supporting her and waiting on my shower gel,” Winfrey told Blige and HSN host Callie Northagen.

“You even have Oprah shopping on HSN, so it’s no surprise that HSN brings in $2 billion a year in revenue,” somebody whose name we didn’t catch said.

As for Spencer, she told us “it is not your grandmother’s HSN.”

No sh-t.

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